Blue Jays: Who is called up first- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Cavan Biggio?

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #57 of the Toronto Blue Jays gets the force out of Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers at second base but cannot turn the double play in the sixth inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on March 31, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #57 of the Toronto Blue Jays gets the force out of Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers at second base but cannot turn the double play in the sixth inning during MLB game action at Rogers Centre on March 31, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays have a good problem on their hands with so many talented infielders. With limited room, who gets called up first, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Cavan Biggio?

The Blue Jays have been very fortunate with the play of their infielders lately, both at the big league level and also in Buffalo for their Triple-A affiliate.

In Toronto, they’ve enjoyed the solid play of Freddy Galvis throughout the year, and have ridden the hot bats of Eric Sogard and Brandon Drury over the last week or more. Add in the presence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Justin Smoak, and Rowdy Tellez, and the infield has been producing lately even if they were swept by the Angels.

The same thing has been happening in Buffalo so far this year, and there are a few young players who are already pressing for a big league job. The hot name in Blue Jays’ circles lately is Cavan Biggio, and deservedly so. He’s now slashing .361/.495/.625 with five home runs and 15 RBI in his first 23 games. He’s capable of playing at second, third, and first base, and has also worked on playing in the corner outfield positions as well.

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Biggio is new to Triple-A this year, but he was more than ready to move on after winning the Eastern League MVP in Double-A last year. At 24 he’s probably ready for the challenge of the big leagues right now, but he may have to wait for a little while longer, at least until the Blue Jays sort out their 25 man roster, and in their infield picture.

One of his biggest obstacles could be his current teammate in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The talented Cuban started the season in the big leagues, but after developing a case of the “yips”, the club wisely sent him to Triple-A where he could regain his confidence and get back to doing what he does best, He’s been doing just that lately, hitting .392/.426/.745 with four home runs and 18 RBI since his demotion, and he’s committed just one fielding error while splitting time between second base and shortstop. He’s going to be sent back to Toronto sooner than later as well.

It’s easy to look at the active roster and say that the Blue Jays could move on from one or both of Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson. If you’re looking at the picture in the simplest of terms, you could bring Gurriel Jr. and Biggio back to Toronto and cut the two experiments that really haven’t worked out. However, it’s not that simple unfortunately, at least not until the Blue Jays have another outfielder they feel comfortable replacing Brito with.

More likely the Blue Jays may have to decide whether they want to bring Gurriel Jr. back, or if Biggio deserves the opportunity ahead of him. They could choose to let Gurriel Jr. continue to work on his defensive chops (and confidence), and wait for Sogard and/or Drury to cool off a bit, but Devon Travis looms eventually as well. As we talked about already, there’s a lot of depth and it’s a good problem to have.

If Biggio can get some consistent reps in the outfield in the next week or two and gain the club’s confidence out there, perhaps the Blue Jays could bring them both to Toronto. For now that’s going to be difficult, even if it’s starting to feel like a no-brainer compared to continuing to run out Hanson and Brito.

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My guess is that Gurriel Jr. will return to Toronto after another week or so, and that Biggio may have to wait a little longer before he sees his MLB debut. I do think that both will make their way to the big leagues sooner than later, but right now they’d probably have to take the job from Sogard and/or Drury, and those two are going to play as long as they perform. All that said, it appears to be a pretty fluid situation, and it could look a whole lot different a week from now.

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